Thiruvananthapuram | As the Kerala government today said it was keen to provide online voting rights to non-resident Keralites (NRK) in local body polls later this year and slammed opposition CPI(M), which has asked the UDF regime not to take a hasty decision on the matter.
Addressing a press meet here, state NORKA minister K C Joseph said the voting right has been a long-pending demand of the Karala diaspora and any step taken against it would amount to cheating the expatriate community. The minister said the Left party was opposing the government move. CPI(M) Kerala secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, earlier told reporters that the government should not take a hasty decision on the matter, but ensure that a fool-proof mechanism was put in place to enable NRKs to exercise their franchise.
An all-party meeting held recently to discuss the issue had failed to reach a consensus and that is why the UDF government decided to recommend to the state Election Commission to take steps to provide online voting to NRKS, the minister said. During the meet, CPI(M) had said they need some more time to take a decision on the matter.
But now they are apprehensive about the shortcomings of e-voting’, he said. The only option before the government was to recommend online voting as all political parties were against proxy voting for NRKs. The state government favours online voting and we will inform the state Election Commission about this soon.
It is up to the Commission to take a final decision in this regard and evolve a fool-proof mechanism for online voting’, he said. Voting facility has been a long-standing demand of the Kerala diaspora, which comes to around 2.3 million.
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